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How to Hire and Attract the Best Employees Now

How to Hire and Attract the Best Employees Now

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Published by David Lahey
There is a lot of great talent out there now. Make sure you get your best new employees to power through the 2009 challenge!
There is a lot of great talent out there now. Make sure you get your best new employees to power through the 2009 challenge!

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Published by: David Lahey on May 05, 2009
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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Hiring the right people can make or break your business. Whether you are hiring sales people to bring in more business, operations people to make your company run smoothly,or leaders to bring it all together, hiring right is critical. Here in a challenging 2009 business world getting a
 people advantage
will allow the stronger companies to survive.
1.What Defines “Best
The first secret to attracting and hiring the best people is to clearly understand who the best people are when it comes to the position in question. Not in general, but specificallyfor your company and for the job you have to fill.To some, the best people are the ones who will produce. To others,the best people are the ones who will treat their customer’s right.Still others see the best people as the ones who will quietly do the job with the fewest complaints.The truth is that the characteristics of the best person for a specific job in a specific company are very complex. Think of your job asa missing piece in one of those very complex jigsaw puzzles. The piece that makes itwhole has some very unique characteristics that are even hard to describe. No wonder itis so hard to find a good fit!Our first task is to accurately define the ‘best’ person for the position in terms that willallow us to know that person when we see them.
Who Defines ‘Best’
If we agree that someone has to define the characteristics of this person, who is thatsomeone? Most would agree that the person’s manager would have a good idea of whowould fit the job. After all, the manger knows what needs to be done and knows whattype of person has worked out well in that position before. They should also know whattype of person has not worked out in the past.But how about the CEO, owner or another senior manager? This person is responsible for the culture and future of the company. This person may be looking for an eventualreplacement for the manager or a person who could eventually manage a new division.Should their input be included in the definition?
How to Attract and Hire the Best…Every Time
"the fastest way toimprove a company’sperformance is toimprove the talent of theworkforce…it energizesthe company and leads topositive things"
John Zillmer, CEOAllied Waste
One person we often fail to ask is the person who had the job last or another person whocurrently holds the job. If you ask most front line employees, they will describe their  position much differently than their managers and completely differently from senior management. It might be useful to get their idea of what makes an ideal employee for their position.And let's not forget Human Resources. HR is charged with building our organizationsand should have a clear understanding of what is needed in each position. While their  perspective may not be perfect, it certainly provides a critical piece to the puzzle.So at the very least we have three or four people that must be included in defining thecharacteristics of this ‘best’ candidate. This is called the
“Requirements Team”
becausethey set the ultimate hiring requirements. Before we even begin to advertise and attract agroup of candidates we must synthesize the opinions of each of the individuals into oneclear picture of our target person.
Defining the Job Requirements
 Now that we have agreed that we are going to take the input from a Requirements Teamand use it to develop an ideal model with which to compare our candidates, we needsome criteria to work from.At a very minimum there are three criteria that mostorganizations include in one way or another as part of their selection process. They include skill, knowledge, and behavior.Skills encompass the ability to do the job required. Whether they are learned skills such as those gained through on-the-jobtraining in the trades or academic skills gained through formaleducation, we must define what is required to do the job.Knowledge encompasses an understanding of the job on one or many levels. It is possible to be skilled at doing a job, yet lack the knowledge that would be required to go beyond the basic activity.Behavior defines how a person will act or react when faced with various situations. Doyou need a person who is good with people or one who is focused on details? Do youneed a person who can multitask or do you need someone who will not become boredwhen repeating the same task over and over? Studies have shown a very high correlation between behavior style and job performance in virtually every type of job.
Ask each of the people on the
Requirements Team
to make a list of the skills requiredfor this position. This is called a
Skills Inventory
. You might want to include someone
Predictive Success 905 430 9788 www.predictivesuccess.com
“matching talent to personality deliversstaff that are moreengaged, enthusedand suited to deliver the kind of resultsyou’re looking for.”-
McKinsey, Survey of talent410 companies, 2009
who actually is doing the job or even shadow a current employee and record what theydo. It is amazing how often we forget what a person really does in a day. Even if youhave a job description you must know that most job descriptions are out of date andincomplete, and should not be used as a hiring document.Once the lists are completed, they should be compared with an eye for differences. It isimportant to reconcile these differences and agree on a common
Skills Inventory
beforestarting the hiring process. There is nothing worse than putting your new hire in themiddle of a disagreement on job requirement.
Once again we need your 
Requirements Team
. This time the task is to develop aKnowledge Inventory; a list of what the new employee will need to know to do the job.Remember that some things can be taught, but you have to start somewhere. For instance,you can teach a person to prepare a report but you may not want to teach them to readand do math. You may be looking for knowledge of specific systems, machines or industries. You may even want someone who has knowledge of specific groups of peopleor geographic areas.As before, once the lists are completed, they should be compared with an eye for differences. Reconcile these differences and agree on a common
Knowledge Inventory
 before starting with the hiring process. You don’t want to hire someone only to find outthey lack the critical knowledge needed to be successful in that job.
Of the three criteria groups, behavior is often the hardest to define. Studies have shownthat it may also be the highest predictor of success in the job. Behavior describes how a person will function in a given situation. It is possible for many people to be technicallyable to do a job but not behaviorally able to do it in your company or the way you need itdone. Behavioral mismatches are leading causes of failure and turnover from front-lineworkers to CEO.Again, you need to have your 
Requirements Team
develop a
Behavioral Inventory
; alist of the behavioral characteristics that will make this person successful. If you do thisright, you will hire someone who will not only do the job well but will be happy doing it.We recommend the
Predictive Index PRO
tool for this important task. It has been usedto hire great CEO’s, CFO’s SVP’s, VP Sales, Finance leaders, IT leaders and rank andfile. It is a tool that has proven easy to use, understand and has assisted to build some of Canada’s very best managed companies. It automates the process by allowing several people to independently define the job and then brings the results together for comparison. The results can be compared with similar positions at other companies to build a behavioral profile that predicts success in the position.
Predictive Success 905 430 9788 www.predictivesuccess.com

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